Dodecanese, Greece

Kos is a beautiful island, located in the Dodecanese island complex, and a popular holiday destination amongst international and local travelers. On Ferryhopper you can find how to get to Kos, what to do there, the best beaches and popular ferry connections to the Dodecanese. Book your ferry tickets from/to Kos at the best prices!

How to get to Kos

You can travel by ferry from Athens to Kos, as well as from the islands of the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. 

There are regular ferries traveling from the port of Piraeus in Athens to Kos, throughout the whole year. Taking a ferry from Piraeus to Kos is a great option if you want to travel with your vehicle, your pet or if you want to enjoy the journey across the Aegean sea. The Piraeus-Kos ferry trip takes approximately 10-11 hours so we recommend that you book a bed cabin or a numbered seat for a more comfortable ride. 

Blue bay and sandy beach in Kos island, Dodecanese, holidays, ferry tickets

The ports of Kos

The island of Kos has 3 ports which serve different ferry routes to nearby ports as well as to mainland Greece and Turkey. 

  • The port of Kos: this is the main port of the island, located on the northeast side. The port of the capital of Kos serves the majority of ferry routes from Piraeus, from the neighboring islands of Rhodes, Patmos, Kalymnos, Leros, as well as the Cycladic islands and Bodrum in Turkey. 
  • The port of Kardamena: This is a smaller port located on the south side of Kos and serves primarily ferry connections to Nisyros or Tilos. 
  • The port of Mastihari: On the northwest part of the island, the port of Mastichari serves ferry routes to the nearby Dodecanese islands such as Kalymnos, Pserimos or Leros. 
  • Distance Kos - Kardamena: 28 km (34 min drive)
  • Distance Kos - Mastichari: 21km (28 min drive)
  • Distance Kardamena - Mastihari: 11 km (15min drive)

Make sure that before you plan your time in Kos you check your ports of departure and arrival - the same applies if you are planning an island-hopping trip from Kos!

Island-hopping around Kos

Kos is a great point of departure for an island-hopping experience in some of the most beautiful Greek islands! From the ports of Kos, you can easily travel in less than 1 hour to Kalymnos, in about 2 hours to Leros, Nisyros or Symi, while in about 3 hours you can get by ferry from Kos to Rhodes, Patmos or Samos
During the summer months, there are regular ferry connections from Kos to the Cyclades, such as the ports of Syros, Santorini or Naxos. From there you can continue your island-hopping in the central Cyclades before returning back to Athens. 

On the Ferryhopper Map of Ferries, you can see all the available ferry connections from the ports of Kos to organize the best island-hopping in the Dodecanese and the Aegean sea

Sunset in the port of Kos, harbour, sailing boats, sea, ferry routes to the Dodecanese, ferry tickets

What to do in Kos

Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese, after Rhodes and Karpathos, and it has a long coastline with many beaches, villages and seaside resorts. The island also has a long and rich history which is evident in the archaeological sites and monuments of Kos. In general, the island is a very popular holiday destination for families, large groups, and couples as it offers a variety of choices in food, nightlife, activities, and accommodation for all different tastes and budgets!

It would be useful to have a car or a moto in Kos, to drive around and explore as much as possible the different sides and beauties of the island. The island, however, is bicycle-friendly, with many bike routes and designated areas, so we definitely recommend that you rent a bike in Kos. You can also transfer your own bicycle by ferry to Kos for free! The bus network in Kos is also very good with many connections from the main areas of the island to beaches, archaeological sites and villages. 

Beaches in Kos

Kos is an island full of beautiful beaches, many of them are organized with umbrellas and sunbeds while there are also less crowded and more secluded options. Here are some of the best beaches in Kos, to choose the ones that suit your style and holiday type:

  • Paradise Beach
  • Exotic Beach
  • Kavo Paradiso Beach
  • Limnionas Beach
  • Camel Beach
  • Lagada Beach
  • Kastri Beach
  • Psilos Gremos Beach
  • Volcania Beach

Long sandy beach in Kos, swimming, water-sports, Dodecanese islands, holidays, ferry tickets

Sightseeing in Kos

Kos is an island with multicultural influences throughout the centuries, while it has been inhabited since ancient times. In the city of Kos as well as in smaller villages and settlements you will discover monuments, ruins and archaeological sites. The island is also the birthplace of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and 'father' of medical science. Make sure that when in Kos, you visit: 

  • Casa Romana
  • Asklepion 
  • Neratzia Castle
  • Ancient Agora of Kos
  • Archaeological Museum of Kos
  • Roman Auditorium
  • Fortress of Atimachia
  • Ancient Basilica of Agios Stefanos
  • Tree of Hippocrates
  • White Stone Cave
  • The ancient temple of Apollo

Activities in Kos

The island of Kos offers many different activities for all ages and types of travelers, while especially the ones who enjoy outdoor activities will add Kos in their top destinations. Some popular activities in Kos, are: 

  • Bike tours
  • Windsurfing
  • Horse-riding
  • Sailing
  • Waterparks 
  • Thermal baths (in Therma)
  • Zias natural park

Archaeological site in Kos, ruins, ancient history, beach, blue sea, ferry tickets to Dodecanese

Day trip from Kos to Turkey

When you plan your holidays in Kos you should definitely consider taking a ferry and crossing to the neighboring port of Bodrum on the Turkish coast. The ferry ride from Kos to Bodrum lasts 45minutes and there are daily ferries operating in this line, especially in the summer months. The Turkish coast has some places of unique beauty, great beaches, sightseeing options and of course, shops and markets where you can buy or taste local products. You can find more information about the ferry crossings from the Greek islands to Turkey on our relevant blog post. 

Tips and useful information for Kos

Kos is a big island with modern facilities and well-developed tourist services. Here are some useful phone numbers and info for your ferry trip and holidays in Kos:

  • Port Authority Kos: +30 2242026594
  • Tourism Office Kos: +30 2242020107
  • Hospital of Kos: +30 2242360200 / 2242028050
  • Medical Centre Kos: +30 2242023423
  • Municipality of Kos: +30 2242028724
  • Kos Bus Services: +30 2242022292
  • There are many ATMs and banks in the port and city of Kos, while you can find ATMs in the ports of Kardamena, Mastichari and other small towns and settlements on the island. 
  • In the main road of the island that connects Kos to Kefalos (crossing the island from northeast to southwest), you will find most of the gas stations on the island.

Kos also has an international airport, located in the center of the island, close to the settlement of Antimachia. The distance from the airport to the city and port of Kos is 24km (approximately 30 minutes drive) and you can easily transfer from the airport to the ports by bus or taxi. 

Where to book my ferry tickets to Kos?

You can easily book your ferry tickets to Kos on Ferryhopper and start planning the perfect holidays for you in just 4 clicks! On our search engine, you can compare all ferry schedules to Kos, ferry companies and ferry ticket types (including cabins, numbered seats, VIP, or vehicle tickets) to choose the best ferry itinerary for you. 

Kos has direct ferry connections with 43 ports:

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